PORT Adelaide star Chad Wingard says the Power have a “championship team” capable of going on a run deep into September.
The Power missed a huge opportunity to consolidate their spot in their top four with last Sunday’s disappointing nine-point loss to Fremantle at Optus Stadium.
It was their first loss after five straight wins, but Wingard admits even during that stretch they weren’t at the peak of their powers.
“I one hundred per cent believe we’ve got a championship team, we’ve just got to make sure we’re consistent,” Wingard told AFL.com.au.
“I don’t think (the loss to Fremantle) is a wake-up call.
“We knew the last five weeks we weren’t playing the footy that we wanted to.
“We were winning games from our defence and attacking the contest.
“We had one quarter where we lost the clearance battle. We can’t dish that up against any side.
The Power will be without gun ruckman Paddy Ryder for Sunday’s encounter with Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval.
In his place, key forward Charlie Dixon and swingman Justin Westhoff are expected to share the ruck duties.
The Power were without Ryder earlier this season when he was sidelined with an Achilles injury, while he also missed the entire 2016 season serving a 12-month suspension as part of the Essendon supplements saga.
“We’ve played a whole year without him before,” Wingard said.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a game-changer.
“We’ve got to make sure we bring the contest and we’ll be all right.”
Wingard has excelled in the past six weeks since being moved to the midfield, averaging 26.6 disposals and 5.5 clearances per game.
“Being a midfielder, you can dictate the game a lot,” he said.
“You feel like a point guard again, in terms of basketball.
“You set up the play and pretty much have an impact on your own game.”
The 24-year-old was an All Australian in 2013 and 2015 playing as a dynamic half-forward and could go back into attack for the clash with the Giants if Robbie Gray is ruled out with concussion.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if I played a little bit more forward this week and they might just rotate the midfielders around,” Wingard said.
“I’ve played a lot of forward in my career.
“If I do that, I’ve got to come with the same mentality and impact the game as much as I can.”